Obviously the whole “World of ____craft” is overused, but that won’t stop me from titling my post that.
I thought I should post a bit about my WoW experiences because I’ve been referring to it so much in my RIFT rambles. While I’m not currently playing WoW, I must say I still believe that it is the greatest MMO currently out. It has some major flaws, but so does RIFT, EVE, and just about every other MMO out there.
I started playing WoW after it was mentioned by a friend from middle school. I didn’t really do much for the first month or two. I leveled a character to 20, learned that I was a total alt-aholic, did a few instances, and died a lot. I don’t really think I did much, but I do remember leveling my enhancement shaman using a dagger and a shield. Dual wielding didn’t exist for Sham-shams back then, but I managed somehow. I think my first Tauren Shaman made it to level 40-something. Just before I stopped playing for the first time, I manage to scrape together the money for my first mount.
Quitting WoW was easy. For me, anyway. It just kind of faded out of my life as my friends stopped playing. When they didn’t log on, there wasn’t much point to leveling, PvPing, or anything. I don’t really remember if I played any other MMOs between WoW subscriptions, but I doubt it. Burning Crusade came out while I wasn’t around, but it caught the attention of my friends who, once again, dragged me along with them into the World of Warcraft.
I played on and off during BC, but never on the same server. We would constantly switch servers, starting new characters and changing factions. We must’ve quit at least four or five times. Sometimes it was my idea to restart playing WoW, sometimes it was my friends. All that starting and stopping is all jumbled together into one massive mush in my mind. What really meant something was when I finally hit the level cap of 80 in WotLK.
Tons of people talk about how easy raiding was in WotLK but, as one of those who never got a LK kill, I really don’t think it was as easy as everyone makes it out to be. On my first run to 80 I played a DK. Yea, my first 80 was a Death Knight. I wanted to tank, and tank I did. As soon as I hit 80 I managed to get an offtank spot in my guild’s only raid group. I did some Naxx and had an absolute blast. I even managed a full clear (which to me seemed significant) and actually felt like I had a place in the guild. I remember arguing with the other DK tank about dual-wield tanking vs two-handed tanking. In fact, many of my best memories of WoW are from the raids I’ve done. Being part of a group of people that don’t take the game too seriously really made a difference. When I wiped the entire raid on KT by iceblocking the Guild Leader, I was reprimanded, but we all laughed about it before the next attempt. However, just before Trial of the Crusader or whatever was released, I had to leave for a few weeks.
In those few weeks I became severely out geared and my guild had decided to keep the replacement tank instead of gearing me up. Honestly, there wasn’t much reason to play for me after that. I quit yet again.
Once ICC was released, my friends and I started once more. I leveled my paladin to 80 in mere weeks, excited to get back into the raiding business. I was part of a relatively small guild with two raiding groups and the second one, of which I was a part of, was seriously lacking in the healing department. Good thing I was a healer, right? I was soon joined by another reliable healer and we started doing out ICC progression raids. We wiped a lot. We didn’t have much of a reliable core, missing tanks, dps, and sometimes a healer almost every week. Sometimes we couldn’t even get the second night of raiding done. My friends blamed the guilds incompetence but, while they may have been right, I had grown to like my new guildies. I stuck around anyway. I think overcoming the challenges of ICC without a group of overgeared, hardcore WoW players actually made the experience much better. Eventually, however, WoW faded out of my life once more.
But that isn’t the end. I returned to my old server with my old paladin to play Cataclysm! I came back with just a week ‘till release. People frantically ran ICC, thinking the LK title would disappear, and everyone else just sat around waiting. My guild hadn’t aged well. A few of the officers had server transfered, the guild leader and a few others moved to a new guild, but we all came back together and reformed the old guild.
As soon as Cata went live I was on, leveling and selling herbs. I managed to be the first on my guild to 85 and one of our officers almost got a realm first for jewelcrafting. Anyway, I started on heroics. Wipefests. All of them. They were brutal, especially on the healers. Despite the challenges, they were fun to complete and, when you actually managed to complete them, they were very rewarding.
And then we started raiding again. The same issues plagued out newly revived guild. Despite having a large number of geared 85s, we had a terrible showing at raids. We couldn’t even get past a single boss. Obviously Blizzard had increased the difficulty, but I think it got to the point where guilds like mine couldn’t progress at all. At least in ICC our terribad raids could at least get somewhere. To someone who loves to see the content, these losses were crushing. I think the guild really couldn’t handle it either and the people who were really serious about it moved on to more hardcore guilds.
Yes, we sucked. But, in my opinion, that really shouldn’t have stopped us from going past the first boss. I’m not saying everything in the game should be easy to get. I’m not saying everyone should be able to roflstomp the last boss in every raid. But I am saying there should be raid content, even with worse loot, for those of us who suck.
Anyway, I stopped playing.
But I’ll be back, sometime.
On another note, this is my longest post. And it also happens to be the most rambly. Yay!